Money and Muscle are not the new concept in Politics – Dr. Milan Vaishnav

Share this News:

Pune, February 2017: The strong presence of money and muscle is seen since the time of Congress rule in the nation. These two are the tools to manage and mobilize the votes by our political parties, which is a concern across India. These views were shared by Dr. Milan Vaishnav, Senior Fellow, South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace during the book launch of his book titled ‘When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics’ in Pune. The program was organized by Pune International Centre (PIC) where Prof. Suhas Palshikar, Political Commentator chaired the session. Prashant Girbane, Director, PIC and Dr. Vijay Kelkar, Vice President, PIC were also present on this occasion.

Dr. Milan’s book has been researched on how money and crime has led to the creation of politicians in the Indian Politics. Speaking about his book, Dr. Vaishnav said, “There are multiple examples like Pappu Yadav, Anant Singh in our politics that transform from a muscleman to a politician and get elected to lead us. It is possible only due to monetary support and the kind of power they hold in their state. The book has been researched on the criminal backgrounds of leaders while contesting elections. The result showcases that since 2009 till 2014 there has been a continuous increase in the percentage of criminal cases and serious criminal cases against the Member of Parliament present in Loksabha. The number has reached to 34% and 21% respectively. In addition to this the political parties like BJP and Congress have been funded by 69% by unknown sources in the past.”

He mentioned that there has been another study report which states that those who have criminal records have better chances of winning the election than those who don’t have a single case against them. The result of weak rules leads the politicians to use their criminality and power to signal and strengthen their credibility to protect the interest of voters. Dr. Vaishnav added that the voters are also much more likely to support politicians with criminal reputations in areas where social division is salient.

Addressing the subject, Prof. Suhas said that one can get rid of criminals but it is difficult to eliminate the presence and role of money in Politics since it is money which drives politics. The program was moderated by Prof. Amitav Malik.